"Life is not so much beginnings and endings as it is middles, middles that don't measure up -- and our happiness depends on how we come to terms with the pale reflections of our dreams. (Paul D. Zimmerman, "Middles and Muddles," review of film "Sunday Bloody Sunday," Newsweek, September 27, 1971, 106)

Reflections-2014

Discussion of Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium

JPopeFrancis01At the very beginnng of Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis declares: "In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church's journey in years to come." Journey .... new paths. I cannot recall any statement from any Pope since the Second Vatican Council that better captures the spirit and intent of the Council than this Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis. It deserves very serious discussion. 

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Georgetown University Berkley Centre

JGUBCprogramsCenter programs build knowledge, promote dialogue, and support action in a critical area at the intersection of world affairs. Under the leadership of a Center faculty member, each sponsors a range of events, publications, and interactive, web-based knowledge resources. The Center's Undergraduate Initiatives engage students as producers, and not just consumers of knowledge. See what GUBC has to offer

 

Why William Morris was Sacked

JFrankBrennanOn Monday 23 June Aquinas Academy hosted the Sydney launch of Bill Morris' book, Benedict, Me and the Cardinals Three. The book documents a sad and at times tawdry episode in the life of the Catholic Church in Australia. Unfortunately Bill was unable to be present for the evening because he was in hospital with pneumonia. That was a pity because he would have been greatly heartened by the the more than 100 people who gathered for the event. Frank Brennan SJ launched the book with a wonderful, detailed analysis of the way Bill Morris was treated. To this day it is not at all clear why he was sacked. Read Frank's presentation.

 

Polly Walker Rituals of Reconciliation

JAustralianAborigineA series of You Tube videos on Australian life and history including the white Australia policy. Go there

 

Diplomacy According to Pope Francis

JPopeFrancisandcrowdHe replaces negotiation with prayer. He favors supernatural weapons. But he calculates with consummate skill every word he speaks. And also every silence, as in the case of the young Sudanese mother condemned to death simply because she is Christian. Read more. Read more

 

No, Mr Hockey, the Budget Is Not Fair

JHockeybudgetMany Australians, myself included, believed that the Federal Budget was unfair. So Treasurer Joe Hockey'srecent speech in defence of its fairness offers a welcome challenge. His argument deserves reflection, Read more.

 

Catholicism: Why Japan is Different to Korea

JMapofAsiaWhy the Koreans are converting to Christ and the Japanese are not. Explained by a great expert on the missions, as the first voyage of Pope Francis to Asia approaches. Read more

 

Refugees: From Hostility to Hospitality?

JRefugeeAt a time when public discourse in the UK about immigration is increasingly driven by fear and negativity, it is more important than ever to give a voice in the debate to refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, says Louise Zanre.  At the beginning of Refugee Week, 16-22 June 2014, she describes how Jesuit Refugee Service projects are attempting to do just that. Read more.

The Beatitudes: Our identity Card

JPopeFrancis01 In his homily at Holy Mass on Monday, 9 June, Pope Francis reflected on each point of the passage in today's reading from the Gospel of Matthew (5:1-12). The Beatitudes are the "the Christian's identity card", the Pope remarked, urging us to reread those pages of the Gospel in order to live to the fullest a "plan of holiness" that goes "against the grain" of the world's mentality. Read More

 

We are the Ones We've Been Waiting for: Alice Walker and Archie Roach

JWalker-AliceOn Saturday May 31 2014 Alice Walker was interviewed in the concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. The audio of that interview is availabe - and well worth listening to. Listen now.

 

Assessing the Pope's Visit to the Middle east

JPopeFranicsMiddleEastThere were many striking images during the extraordinary 72 hours that Pope Francis spent in the Middle East. The Pope at the River Jordan, visiting with Syrian refugees, celebrating mass in Bethlehem, praying at the separation wall, uniting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, visiting the Dome of the Rock, leaving a note at the Western Wall, kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors... to name a few. Read more

 

Merciful God, Merciful Church: An Interview with Cardinal Walter Kasper

JWalterKasperDuring his first Angelus address, Pope Francis recommended a work of theology that "has done me so much good" because it "says that mercy changes everything; it changes the world by making it less cold and more fair." That book isMercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life by Cardinal Walter Kasper, which has just been published by Paulist Press. Before serving as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2001-2010), Kasper was bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart (1989-1999). He has taught theology at the University of Tubingen, the Westphalian University of Munster, and the Catholic University of America. Last week, associate editors Matthew Boudway and Grant Gallicho spoke with the cardinal in New York. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Read More Or watch the video

 

Dag Hammarskjold on Sexuality and Desire

JRonRolheiserThe lusts of the flesh reveal the loneliness of the soul. Dag Hammarskjold, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, wrote those words and they highlight part of the deeper intentionality of sexual desire. And this insight was more than just a theoretical one for Hammarskjold. He knew loneliness and unfulfilled desire. Read more

Love and Justice Must Meet

Jandrew hamiltonTo include love in penal justice may seem impossible. But recently in court a man was sentenced to jail for dangerous driving that led to the death of a young woman. Her father then embraced the driver. The health of the victims of crime and of the community depends on people trying to make the impossible possible. Read more

 

The Substance Behind Pope Francis

 

Michael Kelly SJ

JMichaelKellyIt’s clear that Pope Francis has a style and approach to his job that contrasts sharply with those of his predecessors over the last 50 years. The frequently asked question is whether there is substance behind the style and if so, what does it look like? Read more

 

The Soviet Union and Western Capitalism Had Much in Common

JRienholdNiebuhrIt has been 64 years since Reinhold Niebuhr published The Irony of American History. In 1952, many Americans remained haunted in a real way by the memories of what it had taken to defeat totalitarianism in World War II. They were still living in fear of a thermonuclear war and worried about the repressive communist regimes that had followed the Red Army into central Europe and taken over China. Read more

 

Catholic Social Teaching and Big Business

JBigBusinessVatican City, May 10, 2014 / 01:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Business leaders, economic analysts and theologians gathered at the Vatican this week to consider, in light of Catholic social teaching, the place of solidarity and fraternity in making business decisions. Referencing the Popes' continual call for greater global solidarity, Domingo Sugranyes Bickel, president of the Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontifice Foundation, said, "we are trying to find answers that make sense for business people – this is not always easy."

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Always be Merciful

JPopeFrancis01Vatican City, May 11, 2014 / 06:38 am (CNA).- In his homily at an ordination Mass this morning, Pope Francis urged those becoming priests to follow Christ's example of mercy in the sacrament of Confession. "Never grow tired of being merciful! Please! You have the capacity to forgive as did the Lord, who did not come to condemn, but to forgive! Have mercy, a lot!" he urged the 13 men being ordained to the priesthood in St. Peter's Basilica on May 11. "If you come to have concerns about being too much of a 'forgiver,' think of that saintly priest...who went before the tabernacle and said, 'Lord, forgive me if I have forgiven too much. But you have given me the worst example!'"

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Homosexuality and Abortion - the Voice of the Third World

 

Jvatican1ROME, May 6, 2014 – In the run-up to the synod on the family, one of the most striking elements has been the questionnaire distributed "for the purpose of obtaining concrete and real data on the theme of the synod": Read more

The Next Iterm on the Agenda

JMichaelKellyThis is a time of reform in the Church. Everyone who bothers to look, from average Catholics around the world to the cardinals who elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio to become Pope Francis, knows the Church is in strife and in need of a lot of work to render it an effective means to the end it serves: to proclaim the Gospel and serve God’s people. Read more